The world champion, who hasn’t won this trophy yet, showed that if he’s healthy, he can decide any match
All the class and talent of Angel Di Maria at Juve’s disposal to detach the pass to the round of 16 of the Europa League: three goals and a super performance against Nantes. In France they remembered him as an assist man (his record on the last key passes in PSG) but in the second leg of the Europa B playoffs he also turned into a goalscorer. His hat-trick was decisive to immediately put an evening down that could have hidden some pitfalls, after the first leg with too many unscheduled players. The world champion, on the other hand, soon normalized a confrontation that was objectively based on clear balances, also relaunching the ambitions of the black and whites in the competition.
AFTER THE WORLD CUP
Last summer Di Maria chose Juve (after a long reflection and several ultimatums from the club) because he wanted to stay in the football that counts, wanting to play a leading role in the World Cup. Back from Qatar – after the success with Argentina – he showed up with the right attitude to leave his mark even in the black and white shirt, redeeming the slightly too shadowy first part of the year with a series of exciting presentations . Having archived the physical ailments that conditioned him in the autumn, he is proving that he can still make a difference in any context, be it championship or cup. In the Europa League, the Argentine also has an extra stimulus, considering that it is the only trophy he has never won in his brilliant career.
For Juve, the Europa League could become doubly important this season. Allegri and his players must first of all redeem the relegation from the Champions League after a really disappointing first part of the year, but also try to win the trophy in a competition characterized by a level more within their means. It would also be the alternative to the championship to access next year’s Champions League, so as not to have to dismember a squad that is slowly growing. And above all to live the penalty in the championship with greater detachment, for which the club’s lawyers will present an appeal to the Coni guarantee college next week. With a champion in the team like Di Maria, Juve have a duty to believe in it.
The footballer himself, after refusing to sign a two-year contract last summer (while not excluding the possibility of renewing), could review the decision at the end of this year. In Turin he and his family have found a livable, peaceful environment, ideal for their habits. For this reason, it is not excluded that the Argentine (who will also continue in the national team) may decide to extend his Juventus adventure for a second season, allowing – among other things – the club to consequently access the tax benefits of the Growth Decree ( with a substantial saving on the agreement). However, Juve and Fideo must first secure the Europe that counts next year: the success of Nantes seems to be the right ticket to travel in first class.
February 23 – 21:23
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